Is he the messiah, or just a very naughty boy?
Yesterday, before heats began on Day 2 of the Fiji Pro, Gabriel Medina and Jordy Smith had “a bit of a mix-up in the surf”, as Ronnie Blakey so diplomatically put it. A mix-up of the drop-in variety. Had the Brazilian seen the imposing figure of the South African paddling to his right, like, 50cm away from him? Or was he just profoundly immersed in “the zone”, oblivious to all else? And did the South African intend to decapitate the Brazilian when he kicked his board out in anger? Probably, probably, and maybe.
“It’s no secret that Gabriel catches more than his fair share of waves when he free-surfs,” said Ross Williams from the commentary booth. And it’s even less of a secret now. As for this photo below, we don’t know who took it, or when, but it captures wonderfully a moment that seems to belong the same early morning session. You will notice that the surfer on the inside is not Jordy Smith but Filipe Toledo. So brazen! Such single-minded focus! One almost admires the temerity.